But you can’t say they beat a winless team. You can’t say they beat a Luckless team, either.
And you can’t say they beat a bunch of chumps, because, after reeling off six-straight wins, the Giants, who came to Pittsburgh with an 8-3 record, were anything but chumps.
Not only did the Steelers win their third-straight game, they did so in rather impressive fashion and looked good on both sides of the ball.
New York’s defense entered the day with a modestly imposing 24 sacks but left with 26, as Ben Roethlisberger was taken to the grass just two times in 36 pass attempts and was barely harassed most of the game.
The Giants’ defense also began Week 13 ranked fifth against the run, but will prepare for Week 14 a little worse for wear, having allowed its first 100-yard performance of the season, thanks to 118 yards on 29 carries by Le’Veon Bell.
The game was sort of billed as star receiver vs. star receiver, as buddies Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. squared off for the first time in their careers. However, while Beckham Jr. got his targets (16), his catches (10) and his yards (100), he didn’t really seem like much of a factor. Meanwhile, No. 84 didn’t have much of a day statistically (just six receptions for 54 yards), but that 22-yard touchdown catch from Roethlisberger in the second quarter, in-which he jumped high in the air to pull in the pass and managed to get his elbow down in the back of the end zone while maintaining control of the football...if that wasn’t a great example of his elite-status, his tip-toe catch on the sideline later on certainly was.
And, hey, the Steelers may actually have one of those tight ends that makes life miserable for opposing defenses—at least that’s how life must have felt to the Giants defense, when Ladarius Green caught six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Speaking of defense, what about the Steelers? Two takeaways, two sacks and three turnovers on downs? Not to mention 234 total yards given up (52 of those yards were registered in the most literal sense of “garbage time,” after Randy Bullock came off the streets to kick his third field goal of the day to make it 24-7).
I don’t know about you, but business is starting to feel like it’s booming again around here for Pittsburgh, who is now 7-5 and remains in a tie for first place in the AFC North with those pesky Ravens.
If you watched the game with the sound up, you have heard those hated and totally biased against Pittsburgh Fox announcers—Joe Buck and Troy Aikman—go on and on about the Steelers chances of getting red-hot down-the-stretch and making a serious run at the Super Bowl (you remember that talk from way back in the day—October—don’t you)?
Things are clicking for the Steelers right now, and this may be cliched to say, but they really do control their own fate.
While the wild card picture is a bit muddled, all Pittsburgh really has to do is win-out in-order to claim the division and a spot in the January dance.
Will it happen? That’s talk for another day.
As for right now, if you can’t feel good about what the Steelers did on Sunday (which, really was just a continuation of what they started against the Browns)...well, you’re a fan and/or on the Internet, so that’s expected.
As for the Steelers, they’re on a roll, and if they keep rolling in this winning direction, there will be lots more to like—maybe even legit championship possibilities to unwrap under your Christmas Tree.